New Beef Bourguignon

Don’t tell Julia child that we are not using her recipe ! This is a time consuming recipe, but it is great for special occasions – it’s not just everyday that you get Beef Bourguignon πŸ™‚

Beef Bourguignon
Beef Bourguignon

6 servings
344 calories per serving

2 1/2 t oil, divided
1 1/2 lb. lean beef stew meat
2 c sliced onions
2 c sliced carrots
1 c diced green bell pepper
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
12 oz whole mushrooms, quartered
1 14 oz. can beef broth
1 1/2 c red wine (a Burgundy or Beaujolais is recommended)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
3 T flour
2 T butter, softened

To caramelize onions, heat a skillet on medium high heat and add 1 t oil than add onion slices and cook on medium high heat for 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a bit if salt and pepper and then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 15 minutes, again, stirring frequently. You want the onions to become a nice golden color, but remain very moist. If they start to dry out in the first 7 minutes, reduce the heat a little. If they start to dry out during the covered cooking period, add a tablespoon or more of hot water and mix well.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven* to medium high heat. Blot meat on paper towels – it will brown much better the drier it is. Add beef and cook until brown. Remove from pot and set aside. Add carrot, mushrooms and green pepper to pot. Cook 4 minutes then add onions and cook another 2 minutes and then return beef to pot. Add tomatoes, broth, wine, garlic, tomato paste, bay, salt and pepper to pot. Mix well and cover and bring to a simmer and cook on low for 2 hours. Discard bay leaf. Combine flour and butter and mix well until it becomes all incorporated into a paste. Spoon 1/2 c of pan juices into the flour and whisk until very smooth. Then add back to pan and stir. Serve immediately.

*Dutch Oven – every kitchen needs a Dutch oven – some recipes just do not come out the same without one. It is a very heavy duty pot that allows you to cook things slowly for hours without burning the contents. From soups to stews to sauces, this is a kitchen must have. I don’t think you need a really pricey one (some come in at over $330 ! yeeks !) as I have an $80 version that has been treating me good for years and years.

Bayou Chicken

Simply Louisiana – that is the best way to describe this dish. If you don’t like okra, skip it – maybe add some green bell peppers instead. But if you want it authentic, be sure to add in the okra.

Bayou Chicken
Bayou Chicken

4 servings
234 calories per serving

2 T flour
1 1/4 t Cajun seasoning
3/4 lb. chicken tenders
2 t canola oil
1 1/2 c corn
1 1/2 c frozen okra, thawed
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c fat free half and half
1/4 t salt
3 scallions, sliced

Combine flour and 1/2 t Cajun seasoning in a zip loc bag and drop in the chicken. Seal the bag and shake well to coat all the chicken pieces. Heat 1 1/2 t oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook about 3 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and then add the corn, okra, tomato and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes. Add the half and half and the rest of the Cajun seasoning and simmer 1-2 minutes longer. Return the chicken to the pan and heat through. Sprinkle with scallions just before serving.

Black Bean Burgers

These are not are not a replacement for burgers – if you think of it that way, you are going to be disappointed. Take these for what they are – an amazing savory, tasty pressed veggie patty that is only 120 calories. Topped with avocado and salsa, and placed on a bun, it makes a great meal.

Black Bean Burgers
Black Bean Burgers

4 servings
380 calories per serving

4 Morningstar black bean burgers
4 Arnold Thins 100 calorie flat buns
1 avocado, sliced (or 3 T Wholly Guacamole per burger)
1 c salsa

Cook black bean burgers according to package instructions. Place on buns and top with 1/4 the sliced avocado and 1/4 c salsa. Although not shown on the package, I often heat the oven to 375 degrees and place the burgers on a baking sheet sprayed with Pam and then cook for 15 minutes – they come out perfect !

New Potatoes

Sometimes just plain simple potatoes is what hits the spot. Here is a little twist without deviating from the theme too much πŸ™‚

New Potatoes
New Potatoes

4 servings
134 calories per serving

16 oz. new potatoes, washed
2 T canola oil
Β½ t kosher salt
ΒΌ t fresh ground pepper

Place potatoes in a zip loc bag and use a rolling pin to smash them quite a bit cracking their skin. Spray a skillet with Pam and then add oil and heat on medium high heat before adding potatoes. Partially cover skillet and cook potatoes 20 minutes or until browned all over. Add salt and pepper.

Turkey Sandwich Lunch Platter

Quick, easily portable and a great lunch. If you gotta have mayo instead of mustard, then use low or no fat and reduce the light ranch dressing.

Turkey Sandwich Lunch Platter
Turkey Sandwich Lunch Platter

1 serving
305 calories per serving

2 slices 45 calories wheat bread
5 slices deli turkey
1 slice tomato
1 lettuce leaf
1/2 c baby carrots
1/2 c celery sticks or broccoli florets
1/4 c light ranch dressing for dipping (or onion dip made with no fat sour cream)

Make your sandwich and enjoy !

Cucumber Rounds

These make a great appetizer or side on a lunch platter.

Cucumber Rounds
Cucumber Rounds

6 servings
50 calories per serving

1 English cucumber, peeled (if you use a regular cucumber, be sure to scoop out the seeds)
1/4 c Philadelphia 1/3 less fat cream cheese, chive and onion flavor
Fresh dill sprigs (optional)
12 little strips sundried tomatoes (blot off oil)

Cut cucumber into 12 slices. Scoop out a bit if the middle of each to make a little ‘cup’ to hold the cheese. Fill each with cheese. Top each with a sprig of dill and a strip of sundried tomato.

Meatball Parmesan in a Pita

I like my meatballs very spicy, so I add a good amount of red pepper flakes to this one. Prep time is 5 minutes – that’s it !

Meatball Parmesan in a Pita
Meatball Parmesan in a Pita

1 serving
365 calories per serving

1 whole wheat pita (140 calorie version)
3 vegetable meatballs
1 T shredded parmesan cheese (shredded, not grated)
3 T marinara sauce
Spices to taste: pepper, oregano flakes, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder

Slit open the pita. Slice meatballs in thirds and heat meatballs, spices and sauce for 30 seconds in the microwave. Fill the pita with the meatballs, sauce and cheese.

Couscous with Carrots

The carrots and fresh parsley really freshen up an otherwise boring carb. Feel free to add more or alternate fresh herbs for a new flavor.

Couscous with Carrots
Couscous with Carrots

4 servings
175 calories per serving

1 c couscous
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 c parsley, chopped
1 t oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring 1 1/2 c water and the oil to boil. Add couscous and carrot. Shut off heat, stir well, cover pan and set aside for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Pork Tenderloin with Coffee Marinade

Adding coffee to meat marinades gives them a special depth of flavor. This one is especially tasty !

Pork Tenderloin with Coffee
Pork Tenderloin with Coffee

4 servings
163 calories per serving

1 1/2 c cool strong brewed coffee
5 T molasses
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t salt
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 t black pepper
1 lb. pork tenderloin

Combine first 6 ingredients in a zip loc and add pork to marinate it in the refrigerator for 8 hours to over night. Heat grill and place pork on rack coated with Pam. Grill 15-20 minutes or until done. Let sit 5 minutes and then slice thinly. If it is not grilling season, heat oven to 350 degrees and cook pork 50 minutes or until desired doneness.

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